Eight simple keys to help you stay skinny, whether you are a food blogger or not!
“What do you do with all that ice cream? You don’t eat it.” This is what a friend said to me the other day when I told her I had an ice cream blog. She was only partially right. I do eat the ice cream–just not all of it. Being a food blogger is problematic in that you are always surrounded by food. It’s a dangerous occupation if you want to keep your waistline from expanding. So how do I do it?
Before explaining my tips, I just want to say that I believe being healthy is more important than being skinny. I also firmly believe that everybody comes with a different genetic makeup, and that it is much harder for some people than others to maintain a healthy weight. I am in no way saying that people should look like me. I had skinny parents who were both very health-conscious, so that has set me up for an easier time in this department. That being said, I do still have to be careful with what I eat, especially as I get older. I’ve always said that if your stomach sticks out farther than your chest, you have problems. Since my chest is non-existent (did you even know there was a double-A bra size? Think AA batteries and you get the picture), my stomach does not have far to go to throw off the balance. So here’s what I do:
1. Try to avoid sugar as much as possible. Nobody likes to hear this. This tip stinks. I happen to love sugar, and I use it when making ice cream. However, I avoid it by not drinking soda, juice, or even milk most of the time. I opt for water and unsweetened almond milk instead. You might think that using any of the many sugar alternatives would be a good idea instead. However, I also avoid most “sugar-free” foods, depending on the type of sugar substitute used. To learn about the effects of different types of sugar substitutes, be sure to read my article, “Can You Make Ice Cream Without Sugar?” In place of sugar, I do sometimes use Stevia or Xylitol. When I’m being really strict, I try to limit myself to 15 grams of sugar a day. (That is about 4 teaspoons). I carefully check the sugar content of all packaged foods. I believe that greatly reducing your sugar intake is more effective than exercising or limiting fats and will have the greatest impact on your waistline. You can get loads of information about this in the book, The Bellyfat Cure.
2. Only make half the recipe. When making something for my blog, especially if it is a dessert item, I see if I can cut the recipe in half. For me, this is determined by how many eggs are in the recipe. If there is an even number of eggs, then I can easily make only half.
3. Freeze the extras. I feel obligated to eat all of what I make. It pains me to waste food. However, sometimes there is just way too much for me and my family to eat all at once. Or sometimes my family doesn’t like what I made (anything with coconut in it, for example), so I have to eat it all myself. If the food will handle the cold, I put it in a plastic bag or airtight container and throw it in the freezer for later.
4. Have a party and share! I usually make four batches of ice cream in the course of a week so I can use up the whole container of cream that I buy from Costco. Then I have an ice cream party! I invite my friends to come over and taste-test the ice cream. Other times, I will package up the ice cream (or cookies, or whatever else I have made) and take it to somebody who would feel loved if they received a special treat.
5. Exercise. I hate this tip, too. I have spent most of my life avoiding exercise as much as humanly possible. In the third grade, I pretended to be sick every day so I would not have to go to gym class. I hate exercise because it involves: pain, coordination, heavy breathing, and sweat. I heartily eschew all of these things. However, I have discovered that it never hurts to do at least a little. (I mean that figuratively. Sometimes exercise actually does hurt, as I mentioned before). A few years ago, I started running. I don’t like running. I ran a 5k, and most recently, a 10k. These were big accomplishments for me, but I still don’t like running. However, I try to do it 2-3 times a week, because I do feel like I can breathe more deeply afterward, and I feel more healthy on those days. (But then I have to stop myself from saying, “Hey, I ran today. That means I can eat this huge cookie!”)
6. Don’t eat after 8:00 p.m. Your metabolism slows down when you sleep, so anything you eat close to bedtime will tend to add unwanted pounds. Sometimes I am hungry before I go to bed, but I just tell myself, “If you go to sleep, you won’t know you’re hungry.”
7. Talk positively to yourself. You might not believe that saying encouraging things to yourself will help you be healthy and trim. But here’s my opinion: It can’t hurt! It’s certainly better than saying negative things or putting yourself down. This is what I say to myself when I go to bed: “Yay! When I get up in the morning, I will be so skinny!” (I believe myself when I say this because people always weigh less in the morning than at night 🙂
8. Give to our public servants. One time I ran out to the garbage truck and gave a plate of cookies to the garbage men. They were so surprised. I bet nobody ever gives them cookies. But imagine what our world would be like without people to take away our trash! If you have extra goodies, why not drop them off at the police station or fire station? I bet nobody gives librarians cookies. How about the UPS guy? I’m sure you can come up with many other under-appreciated, often overlooked workers who would be thrilled with a treat from you.
Whether you are a food blogger or not, I hope these tips will help mitigate the ever-present battle against the expanding waistline and give you some practical ways to be more healthy. What great ideas do you have for keeping trim? Tell us in the comments!